Docs, patients speak out in opposition to Republican healthcare plan

Capitol Hill
Doctors and patients added their voices to opposition to a Republican healthcare reform plan.

Doctors, patients and the leaders of four national organizations joined their voices today in opposition to the Republican plan to reform healthcare.

Gathering in Washington, D.C., they expressed concerns that the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican legislation that aims to replace the Affordable Care Act, will eliminate healthcare coverage for millions of Americans.

Leaders from the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association said policies proposed in the AHCA will put critical patient protections and disease prevention efforts at risk. They cited a report by the Congressional Budget Office that estimated this week that 24 million people could lose their health insurance by 2026 if the AHCA becomes law.

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Patients also spoke out about the impact the legislation will have on them, including Cassidy Collins, a college student who was born with a congenital heart defect and needs continuous specialized care. She is worried that proposed changes to the ACA will make healthcare coverage for ongoing treatment of her condition unaffordable and could render her “uninsurable” again.

The American Medication Association, the country’s largest advocacy group for doctors, has said it cannot support the AHCA and this week launched a new website, Patientsbeforepolitics.org, that will help patients and physicians understand developments in the healthcare system reform debate in Washington and give them tools to take part in the effort to protect health coverage for millions of Americans. 

Another organization, the American Academy of Family Physicians, also expressed its concerns that the AHCA will hurt the physician-patient relationship and increase healthcare costs. The group sent a letter (PDF) to Congress this week outlining its criticisms of the AHCA.

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